So, I looked at the calendar and realized that despite the unseasonably cold temps here in Chicago, summer is in fact just around the corner. Thank you sweet Jesus because I cannot take one more flake of snow! With summer comes swimsuits, which means it’s time to put down the Samoa Cheesecake and the Double Chocolate Waffle Brownies in favor of lighter, healthier fare.
I recently developed this recipe after eating the Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal bowl at Panera. My version is warm and comforting, which is great on these still-chilly spring mornings, and it’s filling but not heavy. Working in a test kitchen means I’m around food all the time, so I have to be pretty careful about how much and how often I eat. And I have less than zero willpower when I’m hungry, so it’s really important to me that my breakfast keep me satisfied until lunchtime. Otherwise I will eat anything and everything in sight.
I’m sort of new to the quinoa bandwagon, but I’m really into it. Quinoa is a grain that’s high in protein so in addition to this recipe, it also makes a great base for salads. I’ve been mixing it with roasted vegetables and feta cheese for make-ahead, weekday lunches. Nomnomnomnomnom. If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, don’t be intimidated! If you can make rice or couscous, you can make quinoa.
I wanted this recipe to be thick and hearty so I used a 1:1 ratio of milk to quinoa instead of the more commonly seen 2:1 ratio. This recipe makes two generous sized bowls but you can easily double or triple it to feed a larger crowd. Don’t limit yourself to the ingredients I have listed. Get creative with your mix-ins and use whatever you have on hand. Brown sugar instead of maple syrup. Granola or walnuts instead of almonds. Add some dried cranberries or banana slices….You get the idea. Enjoy!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup 1% milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Dash of cinnamon
- Combine quinoa and milk in a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Stir gently, reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the milk has been absorbed. Quickly check once or twice while it's simmering and give it a quick stir, if needed, to prevent the quinoa from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the milk has been absorbed, let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes and then gently fluff with a fork.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.